|Optimism: Defending V-League champions Ha Noi T&T are confident of putting on a strong performance as Viet Nam's only representatives in the AFC Champions League next year. — VNS Photo Tien Thanh
HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi T&T coach Phan Thanh Hung said that his team were extremely well-prepared for the club's involvement to the AFC Champions League for the first time.
According to a new-look AFC Champions League unveiled on Wednesday, Viet Nam, along with Hong Kong, India and Singapore, will be given a chance to enter the AFC's reformed play-off system.
Defending V-League champions Ha Noi T&T will represent Viet Nam in the continent's top-flight club-level football competition for the first time since 2008, when the country lost its two spots following poor performances.
Viet Nam regularly had two teams competing in the tournament from 2004-08, but a run of poor results led to their exclusion.
The country's return to the AFC Champions League is a positive sign and testimony to the AFC's support as well as recognition of a promising future for the country.
Some fans have expressed their concerns over if it's the right time for the country to make its return to the AFC Champions League because they do not want to be disappointed again.
They would appear to have cause for concern because the national football league is at its lowest point since 2008.
V-League clubs have been suffering, with several changes to this year's line up due to financial difficulties, while corruption and refereeing have also been put into the spotlight.
Ha Noi T&T's coach Hung, one of the best coaches in the V-League with two titles under his belt, is not in a mood for pessimism, saying that Vietnamese clubs were capable of competing at a continental level.
Hung said that although local football had faced some difficulties, it did not mean they were all struggling.
"Every club has their own development strategy, and we are extremely well-prepared this year to take part in continental football competitions," said Hung. — VNS